Why are we letting TikTok control our music?

On Feb. 3, sensational rapper Ice Spice released Boy’s a liar, Pt. 2 with PinkPantheress, and I honestly think the song couldn’t get any more TikTok than it did. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Ice Spice and I think that she blew up for a good reason; she has a very unique and memorable style with her lyrics being upfront and her rhymes getting straight to the point; I can verify this statement because I find myself singing Munch more often than I would like to admit. But I also wonder if she and other artists of her calibrar would have blown up if their songs weren’t associated with another TikTok trend. 

There are certain parts of the song that are catchy (and meant to be catchy) so that it generates traction. Because of the way that the app works, people only have to listen to ten seconds of a song in order for them to go stream it, hence why TikTok has become more popular for promotion Even if one part of a song blows up, people are still going to flock to their streaming services and add it to their playlists. So in short? It’s a brilliant marketing strategy, and one that has gotten artists way more clout and even record signings.

PinkPantherss is another artist whose fame is accredited to TikTok. According to last.fm, she signed with record label Parlophone and Elektra after her song “Break It Up” went viral on the app, with over 40,000 of videos attached to the song as of February 13. 

I even see the “Tiktokification” of music in my own world; I look at a lot of the songs that I recently added to my “Liked Songs” and almost half of them come from a snippet,Even the Watch This audio by Lil Uzi Vert has me going crazy.

Another example of a “TikTok” song is Say So by Doja Cat, and honestly, I think is the beginning of the Tiktokification of music. In 2019, TikTok user yodelinghaley’s dance blew up the app, and not even a couple months later was invited to star in the Say So music video. That song was three years old when the dance blew up, proving that all you have to do to meet a famous artist is make a TikTok dance or trend to their song. Sounds easy, right? 

Lots of songs that chart Billboard are partially due to TikTok trends and TikTok dances. In fact, lots of musicians create their songs so that they can blow up on TikTok, and according to Colorado Boulder, record labels are forcing artists like Charli XCX and Charlie Puth to promote their releases on TikTok in order to gain more traction. 

On the other hand, TikTok has opened up doors for fans to get a backstage look at what really goes on in an artist’s lives, making the artist seem more genuine and “down-to-earth”. When artists know how to actually use a social media app and not use it as a way to manufacture their image, the general public support is massive. Megan Thee Stallion, mxmtoon and even Ice Spice all come off as super relatable and not egotistical in their posts. 

So the big takeaway from this? Although the mainstream music industry is trying to capitalize off of TikTok’s success, TikTok has made it the easiest it’s ever been to discover new and underground music, and even upload your own music. Who knows – maybe you can be the next Ice Spice.